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can I just say that I have no patience for this anymore?

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can I just say that I have no patience for this anymore?
Old 08-09-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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Since I read The Book Whisperer and it reaffirmed all the stuff I knew but was too afraid to stand up for, I'm just so annoyed when my own children's teachers are still requiring me to sign minutes/pages read on a reading log.

I should probably put this on the vent but I'm so discouraged. My son has to have me sign a planner, a reading log, etc every day and he is, as I type, filling in some mundane "summary" worksheet! My other son is doing accelerated reader for the first time this year. He is not happy about it. He's in 8th and has never needed any motivation to read because he devours books, has very high test scores in all areas of reading, and does not respond well to this kind of incentive. He has to fill in some pie graphs for AR and collect points and is really not looking forward to it. I have yet to figure out if this will be tied to his grade (I really hope not)

Sigh. I just feel so strongly about free choice reading and encouraging a reading life. My son has that, and I am scared that this program is going to demotivate him.


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Old 08-09-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I feel the same way. AR reading is not a good motivator to get kids to read. You need to show by example and encourage them to find something they like. A book can be their best friend but if forced to read for points it is not fun anymore. Our school does this too and they have to have so many points to qualify for a field trip at the end of the year. some use as a grade. Reading is hard for some kids and this just discourages them more. The ones that like to read get turned off. We (parents and teachers) really need to encourage our kids to read more for the enjoyment of it. They should be tested on what we teach them where reading is necessary for information. Just my thoughts.
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I have not read
Old 08-09-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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The Book whisperer, but it sounds like I should. What do you do to encourage reading in your class? This is a huge issue in our school, most kids do not know where their local library is. I do have some books in my class but not as much as I maybe should, and our school library is small. I would love to know what others do to encourage reading.
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children reading
Old 08-09-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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I hear you on this! My son loves to read (going into 4th grade and has read over 20 novels this summer, many the ones that I have been reading for my middle school kids) and the summer book reports and logs he has to do really turn him off. I know that I wanted to switch the Book Whisperer method and it was shot down by admin. because there is no "real assessment" and this could be what your sons teachers are up against. A lot of time (unfortunately) education becomes numbers driven and test driven. I have explained to my son how teachers need a way to know what you know, and to do your best on those but it's okay to do them quickly so that you can get back to reading. Plus we've talked about how other children aren't in homes that encourage reading like ours does, so the teachers need a way to know it's getting done.

Don't know if I helped or am just babbling here, but I think if we put the best spin we can on it for our children and keep encouraging the reading that they will learn the importance of reading despite some "incentives" that don't seem to work.
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Good comments/ advice
Old 08-09-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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I think many of us try to strike that balance between doing what admin requires and keeping the kids reading for the sheer pleasure of it. Until last year we taught reading by using novels and the kids really enjoyed it. Last year we switched to Reading St. and I heard a lot of groans within my classroom. I'm going to try to mesh the 2 this year, although I know this means I won't get through the whole program.


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Old 08-09-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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We are using Treasures and are not allowed to supplement or change anything...We have to use and go strictly by the book. I am really disappointed, but it is district mandated. We also are not allowed to give the kids free reading time in class. We were told that they should do all their free reading on their own time at home. I will miss using novels in class and giving kids freedom to read. I am hoping it is just a phase and we will get over it real soon. But from what I hear we are adding cscope to the basal teaching next year. I can hardly wait

Last edited by survivor6th; 08-09-2011 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: mispelling
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thanks everyone
Old 08-10-2011, 12:14 AM
 
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I was so glad to hear your responses this morning and know I am not alone!

I'm using the Book Whisperer in combination with Steven Layne's Igniting a Passion for Reading. I am giving both my classes choice reading time as a bell warmer (at least 10 minutes- but most come in early to get an extra 5 minutes!) but next week I need to introduce DOL. My goal is to have them come in, get the DOL and do that quietly, then read. After the free reading we will correct DOL quickly. I'll note any confusion/weak areas and address those during a mini-lesson later so we can get on with the day.

Shame on admin, districts, powers-that-be for not allowing reading time in the classroom!!!! It's insanity, seriously! I told my kids on the first day that the one sentence they should see in their heads when they think of me is: Reading is FUNdamental. I have this on my board all the time, I put it on my website, I have it on my homework page...

Today, we went for a library visit and the kids came out with armloads of books. We are already recommending and writing down titles to read in future. My "Hot Read" (the book I read during free reading- age appropriate, of course) is already in high demand at our library. THe Book Whisperer works and I highly recommend that every teacher read it (along with Layne's). My Dh is encouraging me to do some PD on it later this year because I'm so adamant about it!

As for assessment, I'll use the provided literature text to explore and apply Active Reading Strategies. I'll have them do this with various stories and those will be graded. I may also photocopy some of their responses about their choice reading as part of their grade if it relates to the standards. I will find ways to assess that fit in with my standards and program but I refuse to give up on Free reading (but I have a supportive admin and a lot of flexibility--I'm so lucky)

As for my own boys- I know they will always be readers but I still have to support the teacher. When my son complained about AR, I told him to give it a chance and that even though for him it is not an incentive program, it might be for some developing readers. I told him to choose books he likes to read and hopefully many of them are on the AR list. My younger son (5th) is also doing worksheet-type stuff but I told him that his teacher needs him to do that so he can see what he is thinking while reading and there are too many students to have a daily conference. I hope that approaching it that way will help.
But, can I still say it annoys me? ok, feel better....
Sorry for the extended response and scattered thoughts.
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To Get Students Excited about Reading...
Old 08-10-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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it's easier if you have access to a lot of books, but I have found many, many reading passages on the Internet (comprehension/response questions included). Look for high interest reading and gather a variety of genre. Three hole punch them and put them in folders with fasteners or small binders.

Don't forget to include both fiction and non-fiction and magazines too. I once got a boy interested in reading by allowing him to read car magazines. Find their "hook" first.

I also hand out an interest survey (search the PT threads for "interest surveys") which includes students hobbies, likes, dreams, and a check off list of general topics and inclusive of genre...animals, sports, acting, mysteries, etc. I used this to find reading materials (not just books) for students.

You HAVE to show enthusiasm for reading. Share some award winning books with students read the back covers with excitement/drama/whatever...and the first couple of pages. Then display them for students to check out. Teach the checkout procedures for your class library.

Then make it fun and give them time to read...maybe 10-20 minutes after lunch or before dismissal. I have a critics corner...where students post their reviews after reading a piece. There is an activity center where students make creations about the books (diorama, etc.) You can do an incentive...mine is the "40 Book" club which I found online. There is a tracking chart...each student has to contribute...and a variety of genre must be read. I also teach each genre and have games and activities about genre.
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Ar
Old 08-10-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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I feel your pain! At our school we are encouraged to use AR and Star to map our students reading progress but I too feel that sometimes this is a turn-off for students. Last year I watched one of our teacher's tell her student that he could not read the book he wanted to because it was not at his AR reading level - what a way to discourage someone from wanting to read. Does it really matter if the book they chose was a little below their level if they are already a reluctant reader? The AR program really makes me cranky when it is the only tool used to assess a child. Why not use a running record every so many weeks to track their improvement? Besides this is a better tool to see what areas they are having trouble with! Just my input! I want readers to learn to read for enjoyment - not because it is required.
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Ar
Old 08-18-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Our school is AR and students are strongly encouraged to do AR and make their AR goal. I love the Book Whisperer as well, so I've been meshing the two a bit. I use a genre Bingo each quarter. My students are reading 4 books this quarter and then 5 for the remaining (my gifted do more and I take lower level books for my lower readers). The students pick a row and read the genres in that row. Every row has a free choice and they have total choice in the row they pick. An example row might be realistic fiction, mystery, myths, poetry, and free choice). I then have 30 response questions I've collected over the years that can be applied to any book. They have to respond to 2 questions for each book they read for Bingo. If they read an AR book that meets the genre requirement, then they can take the test instead of doing 1 question. Students can read more and I give incentives for reaching a certain number total of pages read as well as for completing Bingo. AR cannot be a grade at our school, but I can use Bingo because responding to literature is a standard as is sustained reading for 20 minutes.


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Dalostone...that sounds awesome!
Old 08-20-2011, 05:11 PM
 
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I really am intrigued by your BINGO idea...what a fabulous idea! Can you share anymore information (maybe what you use to introduce this to your students and your parents)? I am STAR testing this week and meeting with parents on the 30th....I'd love to see how you implement this. For the first time, I might actually be excited for AR!
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Bingo
Old 08-21-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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Really like the Bingo idea Dalostone We dont do AR, but do you think it would just be a great way to allow more student ownership throughout each quarter? I am thinking of ways to make this work in my new 6th grade classroom, but am also very interested in hearing how you introduce it, etc.. as well. Thanks for sharing your great idea!
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